USB 3.0 Ports on New Gateway pc???

Posted on 2012-09-20
Last Modified: 2013-12-27
I bought a Gateway pc believing there were 2 USB 3.0 ports (along with a number of USB 2.0 ports).  All the reviews/specs I read referred to them--including Gateway's own online specs!. When the PC arrived none of the USB ports were labeled "USB 3.0" I phoned Gateway and they said that there are no USB 3.0 ports--only a number of 2.0 ports. They said the 3.0 ports are "optional," which bothers me greatly. Now, I just went into Device Manager. Under the "USB controllers" section there are two lines devoted to USB 3.0: "Etron USB 3.0 Extensible Host Controller" and "Etron USB 3.0 Extensible Root Hub." What do these tell me about what is, or may be, on the pc? Thanks...
Question by:johnbrns
    LVL 44

    Expert Comment

    It's hard to tell without knowing what model you bought...  but possibly all you need is a bracket like

    That can mount in the front if there's room in the case, or you can take the cable off the front panel mount and attach it to a rear bracket (included in the kit)... then the cable plugs into a standard 20-pin USB 3.0 header (there are actually only 19 pins, with 1 pin missing on the header and 1 hole blocked on the plug, to ensure it's not plugged in backwards/upside-down).

    But without knowing the model, it's hard to ascertain if it should have the standard 10x2 19/20-pin USB 3.0 header on the motherboard or not.

    It wouldn't surprise me if that bracket from Newegg is actually less expensive than adding the bracket from Gateway would have been when you bought the computer, by the way.
    LVL 69

    Expert Comment

    USB 3.0 ports typically are connected to a dedicated chip and would not show up in device manager as a USB 2.0 controller.  If you tested them by connecting them to a USB 3.0 device, you should get more than 480Mbits/sec bandwidth, but no more than 5Gbit/sec.  You can try this program to identify your USB ports:
    LVL 44

    Accepted Solution

    Also, one visible characteristic of USB 3.0 ports is their bright blue keyway. They don't need to be "labeled" USB 3.0 - if you see the bright-blue keyway in the jack (as shown on that Biostar bracket at Newegg), I think you can safely assume it's a USB 3.0 port.

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